Rav Moshe Zt”l on Survivors

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14 Responses

  1. Loberstein says:

    Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky and others of that generation were giants in midos tovos. In complement to their Torah knowledge, they were really good human beings. Both they and others like Rav Ruderman saw the ill effects of Communism and secularism on Russian Jewry.They came to the US when there was a much smaller base of learned, stictly observant Jews and built the foundations of today’s vibrant communities.They were spiritually very strong but they were also understanding of those who fell. Woe for those who are gone and cannot be replaced.

  2. Raymond says:

    While my own father was never in a nazi concentration camp, he was forced by the nazis to flee from his small Jewish town in Poland. He narrowly escaped death many times, from gunfire barely missing him to hiding himself in the snow to having no source of food for many days, and sometimes longer than that.

    Perhaps my father, too, was a holy man. I wish I had appreciated and treated him better than I did before it was too late. If he were still alive, he would have turned ninety years old yesterday.

  3. Moshe Schorr says:

    I would love to leave a comment, but it’s hard for me to see my keyboatd through my tears.

    Thank you for this.

  4. aron feldman says:

    I read the article,and once again I was blown away by RMF’s middos and sensitivity.I guess the criteria to be a Gadol today is how many times you grabbed away a mic from a singer at a chasuna.

    But if you think that the RWO world is insensitive to survivors because they don’t participate in Yom Hashoah events I have a bridge to sell you! That is a canard!

    Who has more connections to their Grandparents? The religious or the irreligious? IIRC when that menuvales Sara Silverman made her foul mouthed rant for BHO she was target ting the irreligious whose Grandparents are lucky if they come once a year

  5. Meyers says:

    I find the details of the R’ Moshe story hard to believe…

  6. Susan Cohen says:

    Thank you for posting this. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

  7. Pesach Sommer says:

    This is one of the most beautiful stories I ever heard. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. Baruch says:

    The article appeared in The Jewish Week not Jewish News.

    After reading it several times I wondered were Dr. Hirschkopf not telling the story first hand whether some would question its veracity. After all, the argument would go – what 20th century Rosh Yeshiva or Gadol/Posek HaDor worth his salt would ever countenance being approached by a woman in the manner described or, worse, put himself in a position where such contact was remotely possible.

    And than I read Myer’s comment…

  9. yankee says:

    Thanks for posting this story. L’aniyas daati, this is the famous line in gemorah “bemokom she’atah moitzei gedulosoi shom atoh moitzei anusnusoi” (Where u find his greatness u will find his humility). A truely great person is a truly humble person. Reb Moishe personified this. We are truly a dor yosom.

  10. Loberstein says:

    “what 20th century Rosh Yeshiva or Gadol/Posek HaDor worth his salt would ever countenance being approached by a woman in the manner described or, worse, put himself in a position where such contact was remotely possible.” Maybe this seems self evident to you, but not to me. I saw the three gedolim I mentioned and they were of a different breed than leaders in our orphaned generation.
    Today, intolerance and disdain for “the other’ are more the norm than in Rav Moshe’s day. I know a musmach of Rav Moshe’s yeshiva from the early years. His wife told me that at their wedding there were 7 bridemaids who marched down the aisle and 7 men. In her words ” Reuvain was Moish’s( her husband) best man. Of course he wore a tuxedo.” And , of course, there was mixed seating. rav Moshe Feinstein was the mesader kiddushin and these were his talmidim . So how can you even compare him to those who pretend women are non existent and won’t print their picture and hardly even their name in their papers. It is a different and new interpretation of Judaism.

  11. Ori says:

    Loberstein: Today, intolerance and disdain for “the other’ are more the norm than in Rav Moshe’s day.

    Ori: Why? Is this the result of more insular education?

  12. tzippi says:

    And it’s not just the survivors. There was a mindset that you saw in earlier years that you don’t now. The Pesach Mishpacha (American) featured an article about Rabbi Avigdor Miller by one of his grandsons. Rabbi Miller would have a “seder” at family simchos of expressing gratitude for his family. As he put it, his greatest hopes were that he should have at least one child who was shomer Shabbos. To have the flourishing family he had was beyond his wildest dreams, and not something he would take for granted or credit for. It was pure kindness on G-d’s part, as he saw it.

    Frankly, I have these same aspirations that Rabbi Miller and my grandparents, born at the turn of the twentieth century and in America well before the Holocaust had. To add to Rabbi Oberstein’s first comment, this was the reality of pre-war America.

    I don’t know how or if we can change this mindset. Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz wrote something along these lines a few weeks ago. Not taking for granted, being grateful for all these kindnesses, seeing the good that IS there after having undergone the ravages of exile, “deracheha darchei noam”…What’s not Jewish about all this? Why is this a chiddush?

    Is this due to insularity? I wouldn’t say. I also wouldn’t say that insularity per se is bad. It’s necessary to set acceptable parameters; this is the beauty of Judaism, living within acceptable parameters. We SHOULD all be able to get along. I think that there is an in-town/out-of-town dichotomy afoot here, but I won’t begin to define that.

  13. L.Oberstein says:

    Ori asks why there is intolerance today. I think part of the reason is that many have forgotten “These and those are the words of the Living G-d”. I don’t know if it is ignorance of Jewish history, a feeling of being overwhelmed by secular society, or the arrogance of feeling superior and especially chosen more than others in the chosen people or a combination of all the above. Since little true Jewish History is allowed to be taught in many schools and since a phony and totally fantastic view of life in Europe before the War is given over to many of our youth in schools where secular studies are either not taught or are ridiculed, it is not hard to see why so many hae absorbed a skewed view of what our “mesorah” is. When did not printing pictures of women in periodicals become a Jewish requirement? True, there were a few groups that had such a radical attitude towards women,but not mainstream orthodoxy in most of the world. Even the so-called Lituanian tadition is not what it was really like , just what later generation would like to imagine it was like. HOw do those who wear “Brisker Peyos” explain all the pictues of yeshiva students in pre-war Lithuania wearing straw hats and light colored suits? I think that they either don’t let such pictures be seen in their schools or they doctor them to exclude what they don’t want, like the women or the Zionist flag in the background. In other words , there is too much sheker in the dogma of those who claim they represent emes. Rav Moshe and Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky did not preach or practice what is today called yeshivish.

  14. Michoel says:

    It would be nice if we could all just allow ourselves to be moved by a beautiful story without shlepping everything into criticising charedim.

    There is no inherent maaleh in grey suits and there is no need for today’s yeshiva students to “explain” the wardrobe of pre-war bnei Torah, any more then there is a need for the pre-war talmidim to explain why they don’t dress like Rashi. There were kanoyim in Reb Moshe’s time aplenty. Reb Moshe himsef sometimes expressed himself in a way that could be interpreted as more “intolerant” then some later charedi Rabanim. Most of Reb Yaakov’s and Reb Moshe’s decendents dress and look very frum. And there is, in ways that are sometimes subtle, a great deal more tolerance in the Yeshiva world today, then there was 40 years ago.

    “there is too much sheker in the dogma of those who claim they represent emes”
    I don’t think Reb Moshe and Reb Yaakov would be too happy to hear someone talking that way about committed frum Jews.

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